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Just a mile or two west of the better known Llech y Drybedd, Trellyffant is not a middle earth megalithic beast but rather just a muddle of large stones.
I parked the car on the small lane to the chambers east, but it would probably be easier coming from the north after asking at the farm, if it is a farm, it has no living space. Either way it is only a five minute walk.
It was beginning to get dark, and after a long day stone watching this was the last place on my list. It had stopped raining, but low mists still clung to the distant Preseli hills, and the day long mugginess persisted.
But a new site is a new site and I was excited to finally get here, despite the site being more or less a pile of large stones.
The capstone is still held aloft, but is it being held up by the right stones? Two large boulders are still I think in the right place, but the rest is pretty much a confusion.
My camera has had a long day as well, it doesn't like the wet conditions, and it's never liked working in low light, so I put it away, don my cloak of invisibility
and walk back to the car wondering where will my next outing be to, an old favourite?, or a new site, near or far, soon or again far away.
Seven years ago I came here in high summer and though I loved the little dolmen I was frustrated by all the thick abundant plant growth, so, seeing as Ive just won round two with Parc y Llyn which is less than a mile away I decided to have another sit down with the Altar.
Driving north through Colston the place came up quicker than I was expecting, I actually remembered the bit of road that goes past the invisible dolmen, a million miles of roads traveled and I can recognize a blank country lane by nothing more than the hedge and a passing place. I parked north of the site by the high gates, climbed over them and wobbled down the slight hill over the uneven ploughed field.
I arrived at the chamber and felt gratified that I could see all the stones quite clearly, including the quartz boulder that I presume is part of the original kerbing. But just to make sure that when I photographed the stones they were as free from tangled plant blight as possible I brought my big scissors and set about the place removing as much weedy clutter as I could.
Under the capstone is still full of earth, is it just part of the bank the dolmen is now half incorporated into
or could it contain archaeological stuff. The dolmen looks like it's struggling out of the hedge, any minute now it'll topple out before me, like an embattled stonehunter struggling through head high gorse.
I don't understand how they could have put the road so close to the stones, they were just a few feet from destroying the whole thing, the fact that the chamber has survived at all should be applauded, nay celebrated.
With no car parking worries this would be a place to sit and wonder for a whole afternoon, I can imagine sitting on the cap stone and not being interrupted all day, apart from the occasional traffic just a meter away. But where such a parking place would be I haven't a clue.
Seven years ago I tried to have a look at this dolmen but was forcibly restrained by a big herd of cows, I managed to get a picture, on full zoom of what I presumed was the burial chamber. But it wasn't enough, if you don't get to lay hands on to the site, it goes on to the next time list, and if you fail that next time, then it goes on to the next, next time list, this was that next, next, next time. Blimey.
I parked at the entrance to the bridal path, no worries though because it's all far to overgrown now to get a horse through, who am I Roy Rogers ? I don't know what a horse will or wont do. Either way I parked there and bushwhacked my way through into the mercifully bovine free field.
The big capstone sticks out like a saw nose (thumbs can go in pockets so therefore don't stick out much) so I tramped across the field to say Hylo.
The capstone is large and rippled like a turtle shell, possibly a Leatherback, it's that size. It's fallen on one side at the front, the side stone has slipped outwards. There is room to have a look under the cap stone towards the back, almost down on my knees and peering in the flash from my camera reveals a back stone that is as flat a stone as you can think of, it is unfeasibly flat. There is also a hollow area where it looks like something like a fox has been resting up, it certainly looks dry under there.
There are hints that more structure may exist in the large thick hedge but I could see not one thing. It has stopped raining now, so I thank the god responsible for rain cessation and move on to the next dolmen, The Altar.
Take second right hand turn when leaving St Davids on the north part of the A487. When the small lane bends to the right there is a quick parking opportunity on the bend. There may be more conscientious parking by the farm. Fortunately my conscience is on my side so we squeezed in on the bend and leaped over the fence.
The stone is just 30 yards from the car.
What a great stone.
It is tall, wide, slim, and pointy, lichen on the top.
Don't like farmers fields.
The stone has two sides, both have recess like grooves on them that look artificial but probably aren't. Looking down from above the stone is wedge shaped, the thin end of the wedge is sharp enough to slice through paper, the wide end is curved rather than flat.
I didn't stay long, a price to pay for sneaking about maybe, but ive got bigger fish to fry, a fish called dolmen.
I've been wanting to come here for at least a decade and i've been trying to find a way down all year long, it took birthday money to do it in the end.
En route by 5am, I saw a standing stone and a couple of hill forts on the way, the way being 160 miles long, but this is the place i'm heading for most. It is one of three burial chambers I want to get to, places I'd had to put off till next time, but next times are nowadays hard to come by, too few and too far inbetween, so every now and then you have to push it, sleep and food must become secondary thoughts.
If only the King had taken a page out of my book.
I will exercise some restraint in further musical related puns.
I parked in the car park that I assume is for the hoards of tourists that must flock here on more sunny days, only old photographs assure me there are more sunny days, as it is I steel myself against the precocious elements and trudge, in a lonely manner, up the hill towards the farm.
The farm track right angles to the right and from here I can see the stones across the field, they are somewhat reassuringly further from the farm house than I thought. The farm track though is another matter, it might double as some kind of slurry canal, collecting it from over several fields and channeling it into a wide reservoir, map says it's a footpath, it looks more like a lake of shit to me. I wade through it, it's not as deep as it seems, the bottom is obviously not visible. I pass by the farm house and walk up to the stones thankfully leaving the farm behind, but not the effluent quagmire, not until i'm in the grassy enclosure with the stones does it get not muddy. This is really one of the worst placed farms i've ever seen, it's like they leave the place in an utter mess on purpose, it's enough to make you die on the toilet.
That's not true, either way.
Firstly I cram myself under the capstone, mostly because it's the done thing but also to escape the stinging sideways rain, incessant is the word, possibly spelled wrong, autospell is an American.
The still standing chamber is interesting enough but the other is more interesting still, I'm not sure it's collapsed, I think it's supposed to look like that, it looks like a recumbent and flankers, but could more likely be a type of boulder burial with two stones kind of containing it. An earth fast burial boulder like at Perthi Duon at Angelsey.
Despite the farm, shite weather and just the shite, everywhere, I stayed too long, I might have to add one of the places on my list to the other list, for next time.
God I'm hungry, deep fried cheeseburger will cure that.
Postman has left the farmyard.
There are two forts here right next to each other, this the western one is much larger than it's counterpart.
Starting from the car park once more, it is not far to the main entrances, three ramparts there are on it's east side, each growing in size as the higher ground is gained. The path passes through the first rampart which is very slight and grass/fern/gorse covered, the second bank the path passes through is more discernible, to the left of the path some stones protrude in sparse patches, but on the right the stone spread is considerable and reaches off into the distance wrapping itself around the contour of the hill.
The top most rampart is very impressive, again it is more grass covered on the left side of the path than on the right.
Once in the fort proper I naturally head straight for the trig point at the top, it is still raining, mist comes and goes, as does the outside world, the wind is the thing though, it is so strong I have to cling onto the trig point for safety, without it I would surely have fallen to a head crunching finale, it was like an actual malevolent force definitely trying to pull me off.
This is my third outing in crap weather in a row and I'm seriously beginning to question the validity of supernatural beings.
I scramble down spiderlike from the top and hide for a while in a WW2 gun privy, from here I can see the western wall, the wind is most absolutely wailing now, there is one spot upon me that is no longer waterproof, a chink in my impervious armour has appeared, I found out while sitting down.
The western rampart is similarly as impressive as the eastern, and again it runs from outcrop to outcrop. Back towards the entrance I decide to climb another outcrop, ostensibly to view the entrance ramparts, but from up there I can see the southern wall, once more running from outcrop to outcrop, if it is a law of fort building amongst rocks they followed it fastidiously, even the banks below the inner entrance ramparts do it, had it been a clear day I may have also been able to see Ysgubor Gaer another fortlet thingy far below, so close as to be part of the same place.
A fantastic fort in what I have been reliably informed is a pretty area. Three times ive been to Strumble and not seen the sun at all.
There are two forts here right next to each other, this the eastern one is much smaller than it's counterpart.
There is a very convenient car park between the two, so I start the walk up to the small fort from here in less than convenient rain and howling wind.
It is only a short walk up hill, before you know it your there. There wasn't any defences on the western side of the fort at all, that I could see. The southern side of the fort is protected by outcrops and near vertical cliffs, from on top of which a great deal may be seen, near and far, but today only the near views are out, windy winds are making it a struggle to stand up. Looking down on the small squarish fort the rampart on the east is the best preserved part of it, the entrance is here.
The eastern rampart is a pretty good wide spread of stones faced with large boulders on it's inside, with a well defined entrance in it's centre.
The north side has a linear spread of stones, but I could only see it on the other side of an impregnable layer of gorse, damn stuff.
Below the rocks on the south side of the fort in the corner a row of rocks seems to cut off one corner of the fort, I offer no conjecture, only stating that they are there.
Why are there two forts so close together, they must surely have been allies, the big impressive entrances of both forts face east, much musing ensues.
Anyway, it's time to tackle the big one across the road.
The last time I tried to get to this stone I came at it from the more secluded northern side but this proved a futile and fruitless task. But this time I am armed with the knowledge of failures past, and not just mine, I looked for the small blue garage on the north side of the road, next to a gate, I looked through the gate as I gangland style driveby'd, though not armed with illegal firearms, but rather an intent curious and determined eagles eye.
The frontal assault.
No sneaking round the back, no distant views, no stopping at the gate.
I parked up the road and walked the hundred meters or so back to the gate, I was mindful of the houses across the road, but ultimately I ignored them, does a landowner live there? who cares? we'll soon see.
Quick as you like I'm in the field and striding confidently towards the stone, whilst at the same time trying to avoid excessively boggy areas, it's been raining for hours so bog outnumbers dry 3 to 1.
No body came.
It is perhaps interesting to note what Coflein say about the site.......
Parc Cerrig Hirion is a monolith 2.1m high. A second stone, perhaps a natural boulder, was illustrated in 1875 and removed about twenty years before 1966. A possible stone pair, this stone is not the Lady Stone.
This is not the lady stone your looking for.
I wasn't looking for one.
Is 2.1 meters about 7 feet? the stone is taller than me anyway, that's a good gauge as to whether a stone is big or not. In profile it looks like either the Fish stone or a flint axe.